Normally Pao Fit entries are limited to more heart-pumping, endorphin-creating exercises or outdoor activities. Yet I think being Pao Fit also means ensuring you are taking care of yourself and your body’s needs – and today what my body needed was a manicure/pedicure. Maybe it was the fact that backpacking the Napali Coast trail last week left my knees swollen, and toesies in less than ideal condition. Or maybe I just enjoy a bit of pampering.
Either way, after a free Power Yoga class at my go-to spot, The Pad Studios (one year anniversary = free yoga, champagne, schwag bag and tasty bites), I was determined to extend this mellow Saturday. The question still remained – where would I embrace this day of indulgence? I normally hit up a spot on Union Street, which has a plentiful array of options. On my way hope though, quite serendipitously, I happened upon Sydney Nail Spa on Octavia between Green and Union. It looked like a place guaranteed to put any person into a zen state, so I diverged from my regular routine and decided I’d test it out.
Let me just say…Best. Decision. Ever. From the moment you walk into Sydney Nail Spa you can just feel the bliss seeping into your pores. I was greeted warmly with a “Hi, sweetie!” by the owner; a friendly, young Asian woman who made it her mission to ensure I was comfortable and relaxed during my stay. I use the word “stay” because it felt like I was having a mini vacation just a short walk from my apartment. The spa has large plush massage chairs that give you not only a back massage but also, ahem, a butt massage. Who in their right mind is going to object to that? Tortoise-colored basins serve as the temporary home for your feet, and while you are basking in the warm soap-filled water, you’ll also be Pao Sipping on your choice of a latte, cappuccino, mimosa, or hot tea. You do not have to worry about being shy when asking for refills, or even asking for that matter – any time my glass was near empty the staff filled up my flute with more bubbly.
A few other highlights…the manicure/pedicure was not a rushed experience. I spent about an hour and a half just melting into the massage chair and left feeling completely rejuvenated. Two people worked on me – one on my hands, arms and shoulders (massage time) and the other on my legs – and both were pleasant and had soothing, caring personas. Warm lotion was applied during the massage – which helped to put me to sleep. My tendency towards narcolepsy today may have also been driven by an additional 15 minute leg massage I decided to go for. Heated washcloths served to seal in the moisture after your massage, helping to prep your body for the application of color. I feel that I should also touch on the environment at the spa. Everything was immaculate, yet not in a hospital sort of way, there was still an element of warmth and comfort. The towels were clean and soft and the overall ambiance echoed an oasis of calm. For your enjoyment a large LCD sits on the sidewall and an abundance of magazines will help to pass the time, although you could just sit back, close your eyes and breathe in all the relaxation.
I know what you are thinking…what about price? Okay, so I will not pretend that this is going to compete with those $27 manicure/pedicure specials. My mani/pedi combo was $35, so you are paying a bit more for the whole package. Honestly though? It was well worth it. Pao Wow is my vote.